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How Do I Choose the Best Exterior Porch Lights?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2016
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The right exterior porch lights can add curb appeal and safety to your home. When you are trying to decide on exterior lighting, the purpose for this fixture often determines the type. The design of this light should make it easy to maintain once it is installed. There are different materials available, and you may need a different one if you have an open porch rather than a closed-in one. The power supply varies among outdoor lighting, so the wiring of your home can be a factor.

If you would like to light a seating area, you might want exterior porch lights that are attached to the ceiling. These are normally somewhat larger than wall-mounted units are and may therefore project light to a wide area. A wall-mounted device could be better if you need to cast light on a sidewalk or set of stairs. This is because one of these models normally produces a high amount of light yet projects to only a small area. Some lighting is ideal as porch decor as is the case with lanterns on a string or lighted fountains.

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It may be difficult to access exterior porch lights if the ceiling of this structure is very high. In this case, you may want to choose one that is suspended from the ceiling 6 to 12 inches (15.24 to 30.48 cm). This could make it easier for you to change the light bulb and clean the device because you may not need to climb on a ladder to reach it. Fixtures mounted on the wall might have a globe that needs to be removed before the bulb is changed. You should make sure this globe comes off easily so you can insert a new light bulb when needed.

Brass or cast iron can be a good choice for exterior porch lights that are fully exposed, because this outdoor lighting is able to withstand high winds. You may not be as concerned about these things if your porch design affords some shelter for these fixtures. In this case, ones made from bamboo, steel, or glass might also be acceptable.

Most exterior porch lights are connected to your home's wiring, so you may want to ask an electrician to recommend one that is compatible with your electrical system. Other models might be plugged into an exterior outlet, in which case you should make sure the cord is long enough to reach this fixture. Solar ones could be ideal for a primitive cabin, but could help you save energy even if your home operates on conventional electricity.

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